Families cheered and children danced in their black and blue SickKids capes, as the sound of drums played in the background. This was no typical Saturday Sept. 29, at Coronation Park, where the first ever GetLoud for SickKids took place.
The proceeds from the 5-kilometre march and music festival-style fundraiser will go towards building a new SickKids hospital.
“The idea behind GetLoud is really just our community coming together to express their support of SickKids,” said Jamie Lamont, director of special events at SickKids Foundation.
More than 4,000 participants attended the event. The music festival was headlined by Canadian band, Barenaked Ladies, followed with performances by MAGIC!, Said the Whale and The Mini Pop Kids.
Jayden Liuzza, 12, is a patient ambassador for SickKids.
“When I was three, I had anti-NMDAR encephalitis, which is basically where my immune system attacks my brain,” Liuzza said. “SickKids is important to me because without them, I may not be here today.”
More than 450 volunteers helped make the event possible.
“From handing out T-shirts, to keeping people safe on our march to helping us unload and get ready for the event,” Lamont explained. “Corporate volunteers, from high schools, colleges, from all different walks of life–it’s been amazing to see the community support us that way.”
When asked why SickKids needs a new hospital, Liuzza pointed out that they’ll have more space for more patients and they “can treat more kids like they treated me.”